Review: Dork Diaries 7
Dork Diaries was by far the most requested series in my library this year, maybe only second to The Hunger Games and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The diary format, the illustrated novel, and the humor make this series a surefire hit.
Dork Diaries 7: Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star
By Rachel Renee Russell
Simon & Schuster, $13.99
320 pp. ISBN 978-1-44248767-3
Recommended for Grades 4+
In this latest installment, Nikki’s band “Actually, I’m Not Really Sure Yet,” is going to record a CD and donate the proceeds to a charity. Nikki is also getting her very own reality TV show. But her schedule is exhausting as she juggles class, homework, recording sessions, voice lessons, dance lessons (with nemesis Mackenzie), and cameras following her every which way. There’s also the unit on Karate in PE. The teacher is a menace. She wants to help her sort-of-boyfriend Brandon win a scholarship contest, but she keeps flaking out on their meetings. If she doesn’t help him out, he might not be able to stay in her school. And Mackenzie, who is always jealous of Nikki, tries to sabotage things by insinuating to the cameras that Nikki wants to “break up” with Brandon. Nonetheless, things always work out for Nikki and she always comes out on top.
Nikki’s diary reads like a real tween girl’s diary (though with some not so real situations). The frenetic pace of Nikki’s life would make any person’s head spin. It’s chock full of action and humor and tween girls can find plenty to identify with. Besides Mackenzie, who always seems to be doing something to outmaneuver Nikki, there’s also Nikki’s bratty younger sister and her embarrassing parents. (I mean really embarrassing parents. I’m embarrassed for them and I’m an adult.) True, it might seem like the publishing industry is vomiting illustrated diaries, but the kids aren’t sick of it. So go for it.
I’ve read almost every volume in this series, and I believe that this volume moved the amount of artwork up a notch. There are more sequential panels and lots of humorous word bubbles, and while I still felt like I was reading an illustrated novel, much of the artwork put the “sequential art” part of my brain to work. The black and white line drawings are detailed and whimsical and certainly add to the book’s humor.
Give this to any young girl, and if she hasn’t already read all of Nikki’s diaries, she’ll be reading the backlist for the rest of the summer.
This review is based on a complimentary copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright © Simon & Schuster
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About Esther Keller
Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. She also curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.
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